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The name Megiddo in the Bible

Megiddo in later Scriptures also known as Megiddon (, Zechariah 12:11)


was an ancientCanaanite city southeast of Mount Carmel at the western approach of
the Jezreel Valley. It was conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:21) and assigned
to Manasseh (17:11). The latter never drove the Canaanites out but enslaved them
(Judges 1:27-28).
Centuries later the Canaanites were still enslaved and Solomon deployed this force to
build the temple, his house and to fortify Jerusalem, Megiddo and other towns (1
Kings 9:15). It remains a grim fact that the temple (the image of the body of Christ)
was built by slavery and excessive capitalism.
Megiddo has been abandoned since the Assyrian invasion, but in 2005 the ruins of a
very early church were found in its vicinity. The city of Megiddo was situated on a hill
and, tradition has it that the valley around it will be the stage of the final battle
(Revelation 16:16, The Greek name Armageddonis assumed to come from
the Hebrew words Har Megiddo, meaning Mount Megiddo, although that is debatable;
see our article on Armageddon).

Etymology of the name Megiddo


Although BDB Theological Dictionary declares the connection not clear, NOBSE
Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derive
the name Megiddo from the verb( gadad), to cut or invade:
Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary
Neither NOBSE nor Jones explains the letter mem but this letter may denote the
participle form, which is used to indicate that the action of the verb is ongoing;
interpreted as verb: cutting, invading , or as a noun: a cutting (i.e. a cut) or an invading
(i.e. invasion).


The two forms ( gdd) and ( gdh) may be related etymology and their meanings
appear to overlap somewhat:

The verb ( gadad), means to cut or invade but with a very special connotation.
According to HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, in nine out of eleven
occurrences this verb specifically refers to forbidden self-laceration in an act of
worship (Deuteronomy 14:1, 1 Kings 18:28, Jeremiah 16:6). And when in Genesis
49:19 Jacob blesses his sons on his deathbed, he says of Gad (whose name comes from
this verb):
Jacob Gad Gad Gad Gad

their heel shall cut and he shall raid them raiders Gad

This verb's derivatives, however, reveal the deeper meaning:


The masculine noun ( gedud), meaning a band of raiders, possibly (as BDB
Theological Dictionary suggests) in the sense of invaders or a guerilla group
severed from a main group or society (1 Samuel 30:8, 1 Kings 11:24). In later
Scriptures this word also came to denote military divisions in Israel (1 Chronicles
7:4, Micah 4:14).
The identical masculine noun ( gedud), and its feminine
counterpart ( geduda) both meaning furrow, cutting (Psalm 65:10,
Jeremiah 48:37).
The noun ( gad), possibly meaning fortune (Genesis 30:11). In Isaiah 65:11
this word occurs as possibly the divine name Gad (see the translations of Young,
Darby and JSP1917). The NIV, NAS and ASV versions interpret this occurrence
of ( gad) as a name but translate it with Fortune. KJV reads "that troop."
It seems that the verb indicates a cutting with the distinct purpose of laying a treasure
bare. The ritualistic cutting results in the exposure of precious blood, and a raid
produces loot. But note that the somewhat similar verb '( agad) means to bind in
the same sense that ( gedud) denotes a band of raiders.

The verb ( gdh) isn't used in the Bible, but BDB Theological Dictionary proposes a
meaning of to cut, cut or tear away. And that obviously links it to the verb ( gadad)
treated above. In the Bible only the following derivatives remain:
The feminine noun ( gadda), meaning bank (of a river). It occurs only in
Joshua 3:15, 4:18, 1 Chronicles 12:6 and Isaiah 8:7.
The masculine noun ( gedi), meaning kid (young animal), and that almost
exclusively as source of a meal (Genesis 27:9, Judges 6:19, 1 Samuel 10:3).
The feminine plural noun ( gediya), meaning kids (Song of Songs 1:8 only).
It's a bit of a mystery how a young animal has anything to do with a river that cuts
through a landscape, but perhaps the ancients saw the visual similarity between a large
herd and a large body of water (especially herds of moving deer and the likes behave
very much like a liquid). Or perhaps they saw the progression of a species as a river
with branches, not unlike our modern evolutionary "tree." But on the other hand, in the
olden days a person's wealth was measured according to the amount of cattle he
possessed, and every kid was in fair fact a walking dollar, insinuating that the
noun ( gedi) may have to do with the noun ( gad) meaning fortune.

Associated Biblical names


Armageddon

Azgad

Baal-gad

En-gedi

Gad

Gaddi or Gadi

Gaddiel

Hazar-gaddah

Hor-haggidgad

Megiddo

Migdal-gad

Neither NOBSE nor Jones explains the letter mem but this letter may denote the
participle form, which is used to indicate that the action of the verb is ongoing;
interpreted as verb: cutting, invading , or as a noun: a cutting (i.e. a cut) or an invading
(i.e. invasion).

Megiddo meaning
NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names
both decide to interpret the name Megiddo rather than translate it, and go with the
noun ( gedud), meaning marauding band. Hence NOBSE reads Place Of Troops,
and Jones reads Place Of Multitudes.
But the Hebrew language is rich in verbs that indicate a gathering of any kind, and this
verb is certainly not one of them. The verb denotes an active invasion, not a
passive gathering, and the letter mem indicates an ongoing action. The name Megiddo
means Invading, or Intruding.
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Megiddo meaning
NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names
both decide to interpret the name Megiddo rather than translate it, and go with the
noun ( gedud), meaning marauding band. Hence NOBSE reads Place Of Troops,
and Jones reads Place Of Multitudes.
But the Hebrew language is rich in verbs that indicate a gathering of any kind, and this
verb is certainly not one of them. The verb denotes an active invasion, not a
passive gathering, and the letter mem indicates an ongoing action. The name Megiddo
means Invading, or Intruding.